You are here

Pakistan Lecture Series 2009

Arif Hasan

SAIS, Johns Hopkins, Washington, DC, May 6 to May 12, 2009

Socio-Economic Change in Pakistan: Socio-economic change in Pakistan, since Independence, has been so enormous that it can be called revolutionary. However, this change has not been institutionalised or even politicised. Another aspect of it is that it is different in different parts of the country. There are a number of mile stones for this change. One, is the migration from India as a result of Partition which completely changed the demography of the country and had a major physical and social impact, especially in the urban areas. Two, is the introduction of Green Revolution Technolongies which introduced new players in the rural areas and made social and economic mobility possible for rural residents. Three, urbanization which introduced new societal values. Four, the politics of the Zia era and the attempt to impose the values of a conservative Islam on society. Five, globalization and cultural adjustment. And six, the impact of devolution. The talk described these changes and their repercussions and related them to the present situation in Pakistan.

University of Oregon, Eugene Oregon, May 12 to May 14, 2009

Transforming an Urban Informal Settlement in an Asian Mega City: The Work of the Orangi Pilot Project, Karachi: Karachi requires 80,000 housing units per year for its growing population. The formal sector cannot provide more than 30,000 per year. The rest is accommodated in infromal settlements (katchi abadis). The government has a Katchi Abadi Regularisation and Improvement Programme (KAIRP). However, it regularises only 1.5 per cent katchi abadis per year. Meanwhile, new abadies are created. The regularisation process has also meant taking loans from IFIs. The Orangi Pilot Project (OPP) was established in the katchi abadis of Orangi Town in Karachi 1980 with the purpose of overcoming KAIRP related government constraints through community financed and managed projects in sanitation, education, health and housing. As a result, new community organisations and technical institutions have been created; over 180,000 households have built their sanitation systems by investing Rs 229.214 million; in partnerships with government Rs 170.702 million have been mobilised; the work has spread to 360 locations in 22 Pakistani towns; and poor communities have become an important actor in the development drama in Pakistan. In addition, OPP's low cost sanitation model has become a part of the Karachi city government's proposals and of the federal government's National Sanitation Policy. The talk described the philosophy and methodology of the Orangi Pilot Project along with the development process and its repercussions.

University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, May 14 to May 19, 2009

The Neo-Liberal Urban Development Paradigm and Civil Society Responces in Karachi (May 14): The Asian Coalition for Housing Rights (ACHR) is an Asian Network of Professionals, NGOs and community organisations with its headquarters in Bangkok. It was concerned regarding changes taking place in Asian cities and as a result it carried out a structured research in eight of them in 2003. The research revealed that the cities were very different from each other but they had similarties much of which were the result of structural adjustment, the WTO regime and the dominants of the culture and instutitions of globalization in the development policies at the national level. As a result of these policies, a new planning terminology has emerged (such as world class cities, investment friendly infrastructure); the rich-poor divide has increased; and the need for land for the newly emerging middle classes, global capital investments, tourism and IFI funded projects has led to massive evictions of poor communities and ecological damage and destruction of heritage. Both poor communities and the elite of Karachi have organised to oppose a number of projects. The talk presented the findings of the ACHR study and described the process whereby Karachi civil society has organised and opposed the "new paradigm".

Conference Keynote Address: "Architecture and the Built Environment" (May 16)

Arif Hasan (Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Architecture and Planning at NED, University in Karachi) brings international prominence to Pakistan studies through his reputation and contribution to the theoretical field of 'built environment' studies. His work brings together cholars acoss colleges that often to not interact closely. Arif Hasan is the founder and Chairman of the Urban Resource Centre in Karachi and has been a consultant to various United Nations agencies, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and community groups both in the global north and south. Hasan is renowned for his involvement with low-income settlement programmes, and is the architect of a large number of important residential, commercial, and educational facilities in Pakistan. He is the author of “Pragmatism and the Built Environment" and “Squatter Settlements in Karachi” and various other articles and monographs.

For a full CV, please click here.

Imran Aslam

Pakistan in Transition: The Role of the Media and its Potential: The rapid changes in Pakistan political and social life in the past two years calls for a fresh analysis and thinking about the country's future. Imran Aslam will provide a deep analysis of the major changes in Pakistan's political corridors during these past two tumultuous years starting from the dismissal of the Supreme Court judges to the present day uncertainties. As the Director of Geo TV he has had a front seat view of Pakistan's many political transitions in the past two decades. This presentation included time for questions and discussion by the participants.

Imran Aslam is a senior journalist from Pakistan and in currently the president of GEO TV Network, where he oversees content for GEO News, GEO Entertainment, Aag ( a youth channel) and GEO Super (Sports). For more information, please click here.

Khalid Masud

September 9-13: University of Michigan

The presentation will analyze and compare the narratives of Muslim lives in different genres: dhikr (reference notes), sawanih (biographies), tadhkira (bio-anthologies) and wafayat (obituaries). The paper focused on narratives of the life of Qari Muhammad Tayyib as a detailed case study.

September 14-15: University of California - Berkeley

Khalid Masud provided an overview of contemporary issues facing the state in trying to regulate Islam in Pakistan.

September 20-22: North Carolina State University & Duke University

Khalid Masud discussed the role of the Council of Islamic Ideology in Pakistan current day.

Khalid Masud (Ph.D. Islamic Studies, McGill) is Chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology in Pakistan, Government of Pakistan. Fluent in English, he is among the most important thinkers on the role of Islam in Pakistani state and society today. He was, from 1999-2003, the Academic Director of the International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World in Leiden. He also has an old intellectual association with Prof. Barbara Metcalf, and is being invited at this time so that he can participate in a retirement conference focused on her work from Sept. 11-13, 2009, at the University of Michigan. Both Khalid Masud's extensive scholarship and his official position make him an important presence in Pakistan studies, particularly to the analysis of the role of Islam in the Pakistan state.

For a resume, please click here.